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Author Topic: Next Step - Closing the middle school?  (Read 11697 times)
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« on: November 22, 2014, 09:01:01 AM »

In response to the below information - The Eaton's have written a letter they wish to share with the public. you can find that here;

November 19, 2014 Board Meeting

Notes from this meeting can now be read here:

At the November 2014 regular board meeting the board voted to direct the Superintendent to form a 'special task force'. When asked what this task force would be doing - the superintendent has stated "the task force is going to discuss plans to close the building in conjunction with a bond campaign." Apparently discussions have already begun between admin and staff, as to making classrooms in a GYM as an option on campus.

Was Closing the Middle School Always the Plan to Pass a Bond?

The superintendent has stated (before the first bond attempt in November of 2013) that if we closed the Charter School we could pass a bond in Corbett and if that didn't work we could close the middle school. (These tactics appear to be coming into play now since we have failed three attempts on the bond now.)

Back in 2011 prior to any mention of a bond

• The Superintendent had stated in a workshop he was embarrassed by the middle school. There was no mention of the building being dangerous or educationally inadequate. From that time forward - more and more mention was made that this building would be replaced. There was no serious effort to save the building or put it on the Historic Registry (as had been done for the old school in Springdale) In fact the SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) contacted our district after being notified of their plans - not the other way around. Read that letter here:

• During the SELP LOAN PROCESS ( State Energy Loan Program ) From October 19, 2011 according to the notes on this forum here: The money applied to the middle school was suggested as "Minimal:  if the payback could not be made in 3-5 years the decision was made to not look into the option. The building has recently been mentioned as needing to be torn down and replaced in the next ten years so putting money here was not deemed the best use of dollars. "

• At the same meeting as linked to above  - the board voted to take out a million dollar interest free loan and use it to refurbish an empty building in Springdale ( which allowed us to grow the district further from out of area kids. ) * At that time we had already exceeded occupancy in every building on our main campus. This loan could have addressed many of the issues on campus. Community members came forward at board meetings suggesting these options to the board - to use the loan for our main campus needs.  

Originally the board was told by the Superintendent that the loan could only be used in Springdale. That turned out not to be the case.

Here is a section of the above board meeting notes to this point:

"Superintendent Trani's report:  Put together a Super Task Force with Bob Buttke, Eric Stevens and Eric Kneeland.  The two Erics gave a report on their take on the cost to redo the school.  They came in at 1.4 million, excluding several items. Todd Mickalson asked where they got the numbers they are using for costs/estimates and they said the numbers were given to them by Dr. Trani.  They did not do their own numbers. Resolution NO 60.10-11-resolved that the board approve bond issuance under the QSCB program through the authority of the Oregon Department of Eduction's allocation by December 31, 2011 and elect SNW (Seattle Northwest Public Finance) as our financing agent.
Todd Mickalson asked why we were only finding out that day that the loan money didn't have to be spent on the Springdale school?  That it could be spent on other items to help with the middle school or other areas we need to be improving?  He felt it was moving too fast, now knowing that the big push towards Springdale could have gone other ways.  Bob Buttke asked what would Todd do with Springdale if the loan isn't spent there?  Todd said he'd like time to look at other options, now knowing that was a possibility.  The district can change and apply the loan on other items, but only until the bonds are issued.  Then they can't be changed. Discussion went until we had to vote at 11 pm to continue.  The vote was 5-2 in favor of the loan, Annette and I voted no.  Neither of us had been convinced that this was the best thing for the district to be doing."

Why isn't the school board united behind passing a bond?

The CEA (Corbett Education Association ) sent the board a letter that was on the agenda for the November 2014 regular school board meeting. The letter basically said they were concerned with two board members who did not support this last bond attempt. You can read the letter sent by Michelle Dawkins and Megan Shaw, at the below link with the board notes.

In addition the Superintendent asked all board members to answer the following 7 questions:

1.  Do you think a bond can pass without full support of the Board?
2.  Is it safe to leave our students in the current middle school building?
3. Do you think our students deserve to have facilities that are up to industry standards for square footage per student?
4.  Was the last bond extravagant with regard to square footage per student?
5.  If that same bond is floated in March or May will you support it?
6.  If not why?  If yes why?
7.  If you will not support the same bond that we just sponsored what bond would you support?  Please be specific.

The board members have been asked to share their answers with the community. The board members who have shared their responses (so far) are as follows:

Victoria Purvine: Read her answers online here -

Annette Calcagno: Read her answers online here -

The board notes for this meeting can be read online here until official minutes are posted:

Where did almost 300 new YES voters come from this past election?

Looking at the results from the past three bond elections ( here: ) It would appear we had almost 300 "new yes voters" in this November's election compared to last November. The NO voters didn't decrease - so this isn't a case where NO VOTES turned into YES VOTES. These were new voters or voters that did not vote last November.

Apparently the 'get out the vote efforts' by our students, admin, staff and some board members have been effective.  

Students were asked to vote yes on the bond from other students in Corbett and to register to vote in May 2015. Both the superintendent and communication director's oldest sons helped organize a get out the vote/registration event at the high school during lunch this fall. There were also student driven social media efforts and students calling voters to vote yes and register to vote in May 2015. These efforts will have an impact on our next election.

Historically May elections have a lower voter turnout. We will also have 3 board member seats up for grabs. It looks possible that these efforts of the YES VOTERS may get the new larger campus and their choice of board members based on these students' votes.

Voters names are currently being cross referenced between elections. The new voters ( the people who voted for the first time this election - or who didn't vote last November ) will be sorted by their date of birth. This will help our tax payers identify how many students actually are using their parents' addresses to vote in Corbett on these issues. Those results will be posted soon. Stay tuned.

Mindy Schmidt
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 06:48:23 AM »

When our oldest son (who is now in high school) started in Corbett, many of his friends were families that chose CSD because it was small and they liked the community. Not everyone who lives here is upset with some kids coming out to CSD. It is the drastic expansion with really no discussion that people I know are upset with.

We illegally created a Charter in Corbett in "crisis"… Without going through the County, we skipped the step that would have given Corbett a chance to have a say. We were denied the legally required hearing before this growth really started…

After that it has been crisis after crisis - including a $725,000 "computer glitch" that resulted in another failed levy and the Charter being expanded to "save us" within one year of it being in operation.

Superintendent Trani, has called education in our town "Corbett's Industry". The past superintendent, Bob Dunton, proclaimed that Corbett SD was NO longer our community school. These attitudes have changed our small town and home town feel. People have a right to be upset.

Now, after spending millions in loans, on an empty building in Springdale, which grew the district again ---- we are now hearing the middle school is dangerous and must be torn down and replaced with a much larger campus?

Others may say "But look - we are nationally ranked! Isn't it wonderful how people want to come to CSD because our schools are so much better?" The fact is, the Corbett SD compared to similar districts is only "about average" according to the performance ratings of the state for 2013-2014. If more people really understood how they earn this ranking (and that taxpayers pay for it)  it would likely not be anything anyone was bragging about. Find out more here:

The growth of Corbett SD ( doubling the population in less than 6 years ) has been done through PR campaigns of "National Ranking" and crisis after crisis.

Community members who speak to these things have been lied about by administrators, board members, some staff and those that feel they are entitled to bully and behave badly.

As to the bond, inviting community to come into forums, after a bond is set, is not "a conversation" or a willingness to listen or reach compromise. " Hey, come out to our forum, where we tell you about how the decision has already been made. " ? Why would people attend?

There is something wrong when people on the public payroll are allowed to cheat and lie and get away with it - and receive protection from our teachers. There is something wrong when a school board looks the other way time and again when their one employee (The superintendent) goes outside the lines of professional or ethical behavior.

This is all just a reflection of the leadership in Corbett that has been a "do what we want to do" and then "tell them later" group of administrators and board members. Sometimes the 'tell them later' part goes missing completely.
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 06:35:09 AM »

Read it here:

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